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LG StanByME Go hands-on review: Briefcase brilliance with limited appeal

A funky and somewhat portable TV that will turn heads without keeping their attention

Always dreamed of watching The Godfather while camping in remote wilderness? LG has made that a possibility with the StanByME Go: a TV that can be packed into a briefcase and carried – with enough strength – anywhere you please.

We tested out the product at IFA Berlin this week. While it’s undoubtedly a sight to behold, the StanByME Go’s impracticality and comparative quality versus most laptops and tablets is unlikely to sway large amounts of potential buyers.

LG StanByME Go hands-on review: Key specifications

  • Screen size: 27in
  • Resolution: Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 LED Panel
  • Operating system: webOS & LG ThinQ AI
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz Native
  • Inputs: 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth & NFC
  • Battery life: Three hours
  • Other features: Touchscreen, voice or remote control, landscape and portrait screen rotation
  • Weight: 12.7kg

LG StanByME Go hands-on review: Design, key features and first impressions

The LG StanByME is designed to make your TV a portable proposition – although just how portable it is might be something of a strength test. At 12.7kg, it felt pretty heavy and you’ll most likely need two hands to lug it around over longer distances. I and other similarly average-build onlookers managed to hold it with one arm for a brief ten-second-or-so period, so your milage may vary.

Design-wise, it’s essentially a huge 27in touchscreen tablet in a protective casing. The resolution of the screen is 1080p, which is nothing special. That’s a little underwhelming considering the price is reported to be $999 in the US, or roughly £792 on present currency conversions (the UK price point or release date is unknown at the time of writing). It’s a positive that the screen is non-reflective, though, and can therefore be used for outdoor viewing.

Like a well-equipped computer monitor, the screen can twist between landscape and portrait positions, or be left somewhere askew in between. It can even still be used while laid down completely flat in its casing. And it will stay in place, with the strong folding mechanism sitting the screen in a stable position however you position it.

What you’re really paying for is the improved portability via the briefcase format, and the package certainly felt sturdy during our time with it. LG claims that it meets the US MIL-STD-810 military standard and has therefore been tested against various environmental factors, such as extreme temperatures and rainfall. It should be able to withstand some drops and falls, then, when packaged away properly. How that fares in reality might differ, but we have no reason to question it at this point.

Unlike a typical tablet, the connectivity options include a HDMI port, so you could even use it with a games console – if you’re happy to add that to the heap of heavy equipment you’re already taking with you. This port is found on the back of the briefcase, alongside a USB input and a power socket to charge its built-in battery. The battery life is reported to be around three hours: too short to watch James Cameron’s latest Avatar movie, but still a decent amount of juice.

Audio-wise, the StanByME Go offers Dolby Atmos support, which is a boon. We weren’t able to test that out, but the four-channel 20W speakers weren’t overly impressive whatever format of audio was playing – you might want to pack a soundbar and some subwoofers.

The touchscreen display seemed smooth in our brief play with it, as did using the supplied remote control. There’s a decent amount of supported content via streaming services including Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video, all of which have their own direct access via buttons on the included remote control. You can also get access to the LG Content Store to download other applications and it also works with AirPlay 2. None of that was set up for us in the IFA Berlin showroom floor, but we imagine it will run as smoothly as it does on other LG TVs. We were able to utilise the presaved video content that was already saved on the operating system, as well as some pleasant moving screensavers including a campfire and a sea view, that all look fairly crisp and vibrant on the display.

LG StanByME Go hands-on review: Early verdict

The audience for LG’s StanByME Go is likely to be limited. Sure, it’s an impressive feat to make a TV of that size more portable than has been seen before. ‘Cool’ is the operative word here – as many IFA attendees exclaimed when passing by the product. But ultimately, most people will be content with streaming their favourite film and TV shows via a laptop or tablet when on the go. It’s just too heavy to be a convenient option for most people, especially when the resolution is stuck at just 1080p. Should the portable TV format become a more lightweight proposition down the road, or the screen quality is improved, then TVs like the StanByME Go could take off in a big way. For the moment, it’s a niche buy.

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